the Podium -

Welcome to the inaugural edition of The Podium, Symphony Services International’s quarterly newsletter.

Many of you know us as Symphony Australia, the organisation that has provided services to the six Australian professional symphony orchestras for many years. In some respects, not much has changed.  We are continuing to provide high-quality services to these orchestras, our Members. But in 2010 we have expanded our operations to become Symphony Services International, and we can now share this expertise with our Australian and international orchestral colleagues.

I am excited to acknowledge our new Associates, professional orchestras within our own country and overseas. Our very first Associate was Philharmonia Taiwan, featured later in this
newsletter. We also welcome the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia, Darwin Symphony Orchestra, Canberra Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria and the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra. 

Our Subscribers are also important to us – the community, amateur and youth orchestras, the schools and universities, the choirs and festivals that provide so much to Australian cultural life.  We are providing these organisations with a focal point, the ability to network and to share and learn from each other.

This quarterly newsletter will bring you news and updates from the various activities of Symphony Services International, and each issue will contain a featured piece of writing that we hope will inspire or intrigue or lead to debate.  These features will be stored on our website for reference, and ideas for future topics are welcome.  Read on for Gordon Williams’ perspective on international proclamations about the imminent death of classical music in past years.

Our new website - - showcases the best of our quality services and products now on offer to orchestras around the globe.  I know our experienced and committed staff will look after your needs and I look forward to hearing from you in the coming months.

Kate Lidbetter
Chief Executive Officer
Symphony Services International


Death and Transfiguration (the prognosis for classical music)

Gordon WilliamsGordon Williams asks what is the prognosis for classical music? Is there any way of telling? In all my years at Symphony Australia and now Symphony Services International it has been part of my job to trawl through newspaper articles on classical music. I’ve gone through thousands. I have often been struck by standout stories, and even the odd phrase. Around 1992, a British review began: ‘now that atonality has turned out to be a subset of tonality…’ I forget how the rest of it went, but the phrase stayed with me. When I was an undergraduate at Melbourne Con, the future was all 12-tone, and one of our former lecturers had even decreed that pitch was exhausted and now there was nothing left to explore but timbre. Read More>

Oliver She wins 2010 Young Performer’s Awards

Oliver SheBrisbane pianist Oliver She, 19, won the prestigious Grand Final of the ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards, in an outstanding performance with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marko Letonja on Friday 27 August at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. The Grand Final will be telecast on Sunday 31 October, 4.30 - 5.30pm on ABC1.

In addition to Oliver, other Grand Finalists were 24 year old Richard Pollett (violin) and Ashley Smith 25, (clarinet). Oliver also took home the $25,000 David Paul Landa scholarship, funded by the NSW government and Richard Pollett won the $15,000 Nelly Apt scholarship for further study in Israel.

For the past 66 years the competition has provided aspiring young musicians with the opportunity to perform with Australia’s major orchestras. It is an opportunity like no other for up-and-coming Australian classical artists.

The competition has been an important launch-pad for many of Australia’s best musicians, including Simon Tedeschi, Diana Doherty, Claire Edwardes, Roger Woodward, Ian Munro and many more. Back to top

New Associate: Philharmonia Taiwan

Philharmonia TaiwanSymphony Services International is delighted to welcome Philharmonia Taiwan as our first Associate.

Philharmonia Taiwan (also known as the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan – NSO) is the flagship orchestra of Taiwan. Founded over two decades ago by the Ministry of Education, it has been instrumental in developing educational programs and activities for Taiwanese audiences. Its success has attracted a plethora of world class musicians into collaborations. The orchestra has a jam-packed schedule of tour performances throughout Taiwan and in Vienna, Paris, Berlin, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Sapporo, Tokyo, Yokohama and Hong Kong.

After conducting this orchestra, internationally-acclaimed conductor Lorin Maazel said, ’I have discovered an orchestra which is highly motivated, extremely competent, and well-prepared. The performances were enthusiastic, brilliant and replete with admirable musical values….’ Back to top

Become a member of the Symphony International family

Symphony Services International is proud of its long-standing association with our six Members and we are so delighted to have our new Associates and Subscribers join us. We’re the one-stop-shop for all things orchestral, so if you’d like to benefit from our top quality services and products, click onto and join us today. Back to top

Top Tip: what to consider when you're sourcing music

Locating music for your orchestra or choir can be tricky if you don’t know where to begin. It’s advisable to check the availability of performance materials for a piece of music before programming it, especially if you heard it on a recording. You should also allow plenty of time to order the materials as they may need to be produced and sent from overseas. If you can’t find the music you’re after in the SSML catalogue, make a note of who publishes the composer’s music and visit the publisher’s website to see whether performance materials are for sale or hire. For hire materials, you will generally be directed to contact the publisher’s local representative. Back to top

Speed read: articles worth looking into

Richard Mills, Let us defend our heritage arts

Anne Midgette, Video-game concerts, a movement that’s more than a blip on orchestral landscape

Clemency Burton-Hill, This is what happens when arts funding is outsourced

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About us

Symphony Services International, formerly Symphony Australia, has for many years been orchestrating excellence in Australia. Supporting the ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards and setting international benchmarks with the Conductor Development program, we also hold the southern hemisphere’s largest classical print music library, offer over 3,500 program notes and take the headache out of tour management. Now all members of the global orchestral community can benefit from our products and services, assisting orchestras and classical musicians to perform at their best. Back to top


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Symphony Services International